Hartsville Girls earn first round state tournament win
By Don Gearhart
When your team is 18-7 on the season and you are playing a lower seeded team with a 13-11 record, you expect to win. The Hilton Head Island Lady Seahawks were not about to just roll over and play dead. Relying on an inside game, the Lady Seahawks took a first period lead at 15-11 on the strength of Lynda Young’s six points and five from Janiya Ferebee. Hartsville countered with six points inside the paint by Tatiana Fisher and five from Brooke Mitchell.
The second stanza was a flip with the Lady Red Foxes outscoring the Lady Seahawks by an identical 15-11 mark. Jazzy Frierson heated up, scoring ten points in the quarter after being shut out in the first period. After Fisher scored inside once more, Frierson tied the game at 15-15 just 30 seconds into the period. A three-point shot from Jaz Reyes gave Hartsville an 18-15 lead before Hilton Head Island tied the score at 20-20 on a trifecta from Alandria Kennedy. The Lady Seahawks surged to a four-point lead but Frierson scored with 24 seconds left, then stole an inbound pass and tied the score at 26-26 with just 11 seconds left. The game was a little sloppy with Hartsville turning the ball over six times in the first half and Hilton Head Island gave up the ball nine times on infractions.
Emily Ruckno scored on a baseline shot to get the Lady Seahawks started in the third period. Ninety seconds into the period, Frierson gave Hartsville the lead back when she was fouled on the way to the basket and was awarded a free throw after the made shot to give the Lady Red Foxes their first lead of the second half. The Lady Seahawks would not go away and slowly built a five-point lead at 36-31. The Lady Red Foxes began to press all over the court and gained the lead back with 2:43 to play in the period on two free throws from Frierson. Hartsville continued the pressure and finished the period with a 46-38 advantage capped off by a Frierson three-pointer at the buzzer. Frierson accounted for 18 of her team’s 20 points in the period.
While Hartsville cleaned up their floor game with only one second half turnover, the Lady Seahawks committed another eleven and a total of twenty on the night. Frierson scored 12 more times in the fourth quarter including eight from the charity stripe The closest Hilton Head Island would get the remainder of the game was at 48-44. Hartsville’s lead widened to double digits and Hilton Head Island was forced to foul, sending the Lady Red Foxes to the line. They connected on 11-16 attempts down the stretch and finished the game with a 63-51 triumph.
Frierson led all scorers with 40 points, 19 of came from the foul line on 23 attempts. Fisher supported the effort with ten points. Young led the Lady Seahawks with 16 points and Ferebee added eleven points. Hartsville was 22-32 from the free throw line and Hilton Head Island only managed 8-17. The fourteen-point difference ultimately decided the outcome of the game.
Hartsville will now travel to Westwood to take on the Lower State’s number one ranked team at 23-4 with three of their losses coming against teams from out-of-state.